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none of us think bad things are gonna happen to us. i'm here at my house on thanksgiving day, and i have a massive heart attack right in my driveway. an artery in your heart, it's called the widow maker. and mine was 95% blocked. they took me to the hospital, and the doctor put me on a bayerspirin regimen. [ male announcer ] aspirin is not appropriate for everyone, so be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. i'm a blue-collar worker. to me, bayer aspirin is another tool. go talk to your doctor. you're not indestructible anymore. ♪ >> steve: we know eventually she would walk into the studio. here she is. >> gretchen: i think it's going to be a new thing. we wanted to know if there would be a dynasty walk. but maybe in the after the show show. >> anything is possible in the after the show show. >> brian: tomorrow, geraldo rivera will be here. john mccain, we'll find out who is cooler. >> gretchen: see you tomorrow.
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bill: it is a day of history truly. in less than two hours pope benedict xvi departs the vatican as pope for the last time, a remarkable event that has not happened in some 600 years. long before cable. good morning, everybody we'll watch this together. i'm bill hemmer, welcome to "america's newsroom." lovely color. martha: lovely scene there in rome. it is incredible to watch. good morning, everybody. i'm martha. the pope is expected to depart the papal residence today. he will get on a helicopter. that will happen 11:00 our time. you will see it here on "america's newsroom". bill: the pontiff holding a final audience with the cardinals, the church leaders that will choose his successor from among their own ranks. his holiness sharing a brief, private moment with each one of the cardinals. he will stand behind their choice as he prays for them and the next pope in the coming days. >> translator: among you in the college of cardinals,
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there is the future pope to whom already today i promise my unconditional reference and obedience. for all this with love and gratefulness i'm pose on you my heartfelt apostolic blessing. bill: amy kellogg is live from the vatican. what can we report on his final day as the pope? >> reporter: according to people with intimate knowledge what went on the meeting he thanked all the cardinals for their support. people say not just today but in the past few weeks he seemed more relaxed and at ease than ever before. praying for his princes that they will choose the best successor possible. one cardinal even whispered something into his ear apparently, a joke. and he burst out laughing. within the next couple of hours he will issue his final tweet. you know the pope did start tweeting recently at pontifx
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is hashtag. he will board a chop. to the summer retreat. before he moves to his permanent residence inside the vatican. he will when he gets to the villa, bill, step onto the balcony where he will greet the people of the village. it is not clear whether or not he will say anything to them. he may issue one final blessing on his pontiff cat. he will retreat to the villa. swiss guards stand outside until 8:00. it is expected he will be in prayer. when the swiss guard actually turn and leave, when they depart, that means it is really all over. this pontifcat, and pope benedict xvi becomes pope emeritus, bill. bill: there is really no
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protocol for this. this isn't written in the rule book. there will be point throughout the morning into the afternoon that you can put on the clock to say this is about to happen and we'll watch it together. after the swiss guards leave and that door closes, what does he do then? >> reporter: yeah. that will be a dramatic moment. then he will relax. he will read a lot. it is not clear whether he will actually do any further writing. he will have some visitors. he does have friend. he has his brother from germany who is likely to come visit. he has the little papal family, this household which includes some nuns and his personal secretary who will also be working to for the new pope. i just spoke to greg burke, now as we know is the head of communications for the senior adivsor for communications in the vatican. he said it is likely pope benedict xvi will meet the next pope. we may not see it. we may hear about it if in fact that does happen. bill? bill: stand by at the
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vatican. amy kellogg live in rome. martha. martha: for a recap this is what happens after the pope has officially stepped down from his duties. when his resignation takes effect, that will happen at 8:00 p.m. local time, the swiss guards will no longer protect the pontiff as they have done throughout his years at the vatican. they are charged with guarding only one pope and that will be the new pope as soon as he is chosen. at that moment benedict's official title will become his holiness benedict xvi. roman pontiff emeritus. this is uncharted territory for the past 600 years. we're all just learning the language of this. he will continue to wear the white kasak he will no longer see in the prada-made red shoes. a lot is made of that. he will put on the brown shoes he got from mexico. even that a small symbolic outreach to latin america which has been a favorite visiting spot for the popes
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and such a central important area for the catholic church going forward. the fisherman's ring which contains the pope's formal seal has to be destroyed. that is an ancient custom that will be upheld even though this pope is alive. they don't want anyone to forge the signature on official documents that uses that seal. so a lot of obviously goes back thousands of years in tradition. there can only be one person that wears the ring at a time. bill: we'll have live coverage of the departure from the vatican. it is a short helicopter ride. it is 15 minutes in total lent to take south of rome. that will happen around 10:45 a.m. eastern time. you and i sat here. this will be another one we wilhite sit here and watch together. martha: indeed it will. let's go back to the circumstance and pomp going on back at the white house because they are now denying that a staffer threatened veteran journalist bob woodward over comments he made about the administration handling of the automatic defense
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spending cuts known as the sequester. woodward slammed the president. he said the budget fight is madness. woodward says he hasn't seen the likes of since the nixon administration. that conjures up all kinds of mental connections when people think about that. woodward is explaining how the white house responded to him. watch this. >> said, you're focusing on a few specific trees that gives a very wrong impression of the forest. but perhaps we will just not see eye-to-eye here. he says, you know, i think you will regret staking out that claim. martha: that's what bob woodward said was e-mailed to him from someone at the white house. tucker carlson joins us now, editor of "the daily caller" and fox news contributor. tucker, what is your reaction to this whole thing? >> well, i mean woodward is really hurt the white house. he is undercut by his reporting their account of a couple different pretty key
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moments in political reported a, the sequester was originally thought up in the white house and approved by the b. he b he made the claim in his reporting and reported widely on television, increased taxes closing loopholes the president is talking about speech after speech were not part of the original deal with the house republicans. that the president chenged the goalposts as woodward put it. both these things have been politically damaging to the white house. they're very upset with bob woodward for sure. martha: those are the two essential points. those are the trees, essentially. >> right. martha: that the white house is talking about. yes, this sequester whole idea came from the white house and also that these tax hikes that are now being thrown out there as a solution to the sequester were never part of this original deal. it is hard to imagine, tucker, how those trees, as they put it are not very central. the president is campaigning essentially across the country right now about how this whole thing is the republican asphalt. woodward of all people who
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brought down richard nixon, lionized about his work covering the white house is one saying the president doesn't understand his power and isn't a leader essentially. >> well, and beyond that is willing to put the country at risk. he said this on another very liberal cable network, to put the country at risk because he think it is to his political advantage. keep in mind woodward is not right-wing political activist. all this precipitated the current fuss over e-mails, exchanged between woodward and gene sperling, one of president's economic advisors, and economic advisor to bill clinton as well. woodward was threatened by unnamed senior staffer. turns out to be gene sperling. we have the e-mails. looks to me like woodward hyped that claim. he responds to gene sperling's line that he repeated there, you will regret to reported this by saying, gene, you never have to apologize to me. martha: look at that one,
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tucker, we have the new e-mail, which maybe, released at this point to show, oh it was no big deal. there was no threat going on because look what bob woodward said in response. he said, gene, you do not ever have to apologize to me. you get wound up because you're making your points and you believe them. this is all part of a serious discussion. i for one welcome a little heat. there should be more give the importance. i also welcome your personal advice. i'm listening. i they you have lived all of this. my partial advantage i talked extensively with all involved for the book that woodward wrote. i'm traveling and will try to reach you after 3:00 p.m. today. what i see, tucker, basically he doesn't want to burn any bridges here. >> right. martha: he wants to keep the line of communications to the white house. even though he is angry as they threatened him as he said himself he is going back over this. look, everything is cool. >> let's be clear. woodward caught the white house lying that they
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thought up sequestration. they basically admitted. they lied about that, yes, it was their idea. this offers a window how washington works, suck uping air kiss between reporter and source. it is honest about it to claim you're threatened when you're writing e-mail you never need to apologize to me. i will see you at lunch. bye. sort of hard for woodward to have it both ways even though he legitimately caught them lying that doesn't undue that legitimate fact. this is not the boss ture -- posture after guy in peril. martha: this threat issue takes away from what you brought up which is really the larger issue here. >> sure. martha: they're talking about what happened with the sequester. it came from the white house. tax hikes were never brought up as a solution to this deal. i think it is important to point out to remember that is what really this discussion is all about. >> they admitted it. if you admitted it, -- if
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you read sperl egg e-mail he doesn't explain it. >> thanks, tucker. >> thanks, martha. bill: we're watching the dow closing in on history. finishing yesterday at 14,075. that is the 52-week highest close ever. it comes as our economy continues to struggle. gdp in the first quarter, .1%. president obama warning that the automatic spending cuts would hurt the recovery in the economy. why is the dow surging? stuart varney, anchor of "varney & company", fox business network. why, stuart? >> that is very, very simple, bill. because ben bernanke said twice this week he will keep on printing money. by the billions. by the tens of billions. that means some of that money will find its way to wall street. so the stock market rallied. the dow is up 300 points in the last two days. it is just 89 points away from its all-time record high. there is one more point to be made here, bill. do we got that report of really miserable growth in the last part of last year.
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that will encourage ben to print some more money. if the economy is so weak, well, print even more. that is the thinking. that is why the market is up so far. could hit a record today. bill: about 100 points away, right? >> 89 points away from the all-time high, yeah. bill: closing in on an all-time high. we'll get the song if we get there, on an all-time high. thank you, stuart. >> thank you, bill. bill: see you in eight minutes. martha. martha: a new report shines some light how hundreds of millions of your tax dollars are being used by government workers. wait until you see the numbers. they are shocking. bill: also a democratic lawmaker accusing republicans of having a schizophrenic message on the budget. he will defend that in a moment when he joins us live. martha: an american pastor convicted for being christian is now for the first time describing what's going on inside that jail. some who are filing conditions -- horrifying conditions. his wife will talk about the ordeal and who is helping
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her to try to get him out. >> the phone calls are cut off now. he, the kids won't be able to hear their dad's voice. seems very devastating, not until they're teenagers. they're toddlers right now will they ever hear their dad's voice or see him. oh! progress-oh! [ female announcer ] with 40 delicious progresso soups at 100 calories or less, there are plenty of reasons people are saying "progress-oh!" share your progress-oh! story on facebook.
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bill: president obama meeting tomorrow now with congressional leaders, the same day that $85 billion in automatic budget cuts are set to move into motion. the house speaker john boehner is saying why it's now time for the democrats in the senate to pass a plan. listen. >> the house has acted twice. why should the house have to act a third time before the senate does anything? those two bills that you passed are dead now. you have a new congress. you have to pass a new bill. >> we have passed bills twice. they all understand where we're coming from. it is time for them to do something. >> so you do not believe as the highest ranking
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republican in the government, that this is your responsibility to lead on this issue? >> no. we elected a a president to lead. all they have to do is come up with and sit down with harry reid and senate democrats and work out a plan that they can pass. bill: what about that? democratic congressman adam schiff out of california is on the appropriations committee. welcome to "america's newsroom.". what do you think about the speaker? he is putting all this on the president and democrats in the senate. time for them to step up. >> well a couple things. this is the same speaker that said he got 98% of what he wanted in the whole deal that set up the sequester. but we're getting a very mixed message. we're getting a message, the problem we want the other house to go first. or the problem we want the president to propose something. the president has proposed something. i don't think the america people really care about who's idea this originally was or who got 98% of the what. they want the economy to --. bill: sequester in my own
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state. that will --. bill: let me get that in a a moment. i don't think anybody is arguing that. you call this a man-made crisis. why wait until friday to sit down and talk with the leaders who could make it happen in congress? >> i think there is real conviction in the white house and frankly in the house as well that the speaker has decided that the sequester has to be initiated. this decision was really made probably a month or two ago as a way of managing their own members. that a lot of the gop members of the house feel like they got the worst end of the deal in the fiscal cliff and that the speaker, if he wants to remain speaker has to placate that tea party element within his conference. so it feels like that that decision was already made. and i think the white house has the sense that the speaker was never really serious about avoiding sequester. bill: really? let me stop you there because you're about to go here and i will tee you up for this. this is statement from you and your office there. the loss of thousands of jobs in los angeles and
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around the country, 1210 teacher aide jobs. 87 million in funding for primary and secondary education. 7,000 officers and agents off, affecting clean water and air quality all over america. nutrition assistance for seniors, medical research grants for diseases such askancer, diabetes and alzheimer's. really? >> yeah. bill: really? all that is going to happen? >> it is. bill: when? >> well, it is going to happen the during the course of the next ten months. these cuts are going to be real and people will feel them. that is why i think it is so important we try to fix the problem. it is a man-made disaster because it cuts good programs you mentioned equally with things that don't work. cuts the efficient with the inefficient. what it is last way we want to reduce the deficit in indiscriminate way. we need something balanced that continues to make
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spending cuts but raises revenues and closes special interest tax loopholes for billionaires why not do it? the frustration we don't have a negotiating partner here in the house because the house republicans are not of one mind. they're debating internally. bill: we have one president. the meeting doesn't even happen until tomorrow. i mean people look at this stuff and they say the sky's falling. they say really? is it really going to happen that way or is this hyperbole? more speak we hear out of washington. one of our democratic colleagues from maryland on the senate side. he agrees there is spending problem and there is big debt problem. we have to do something about it now. do you disagree with that. >> unquestionably. bill, i think you're right, the public after these periodic crises wonder is this really going to happen? will it really be that bad? will there be a last minute resolution? up until now like with the fiscal cliff there always has been a last minute resolution. unfortunately there is no last minute resolution. the sequester will go into
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effect. bill: if there is not, we'll hold onto the list to see whether or not it is true. we'll reach out to you and bring you back. adam schiff -- >> i hope we get it fixed because we don't need to talk about all the cuts taking place but i'm afraid they will. bill: we will see very soon. thank you for your time, adam schiff, democrat from california. martha. martha: he have interesting. more coming up on that. controversy surrounds a pro-obama group after accusations it is selling access to the president. a serious story. we'll take a closer look at this. bill: lavish government conferences at your expense. you're paying for it. a shocking new report showing where your tax dollars might be right up in the air. ♪ . this is $100,000.
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bill: so they got him. the inmate is behind bars after spending months on the run. watch him in surveilla walking out of a county jail in arizona. u.s. marshals say he swapped identities with a fellow inmate set for release. when they tracked him down eight months later in detroit, michigan. guess what, he escaped again. >> we're amazed that he escaped a second time especially using the exact same ruse he used in maricopa county. he has friend and relatives that can hide him out for a few days. he has the resources, and the ability to assume different identities. but we were able to stay on top of that as much as we could. bill: i think we need a new technique. martha: he is a slipperry dude, huh? bill: this tim time they found him in mexico. they put him under lockdown
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to prevent him for breaking free a third time. martha: if it is not broken don't fix it, right? what happens in vegas stays in vegas except when it doesn't. you remember the 800,000 you spent for employees to party and dring wine in the tub. $800,000 of taxpayer money, right? new numbers are showing that uncle sam spent more money on conferences for a lot of different government departments that year alone. peter doocy is live in washington. peter, how much money was spent on conferences just last year? >> reporter: more than $340,000 million, martha. that is just the number you get if you add up the 894 conferences that cost more than $100,000 each. because the house oversight committee isolated so-called big ticket events. they found the defense department spent almost $89 million on conferences in 2012.
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73 million at department of veterans' affairs. roughly 59 million at the justice department. and 56 million at the department of health and human services. the chairman of the house oversight committee is now saying these conferences cost alot but attendees don't do very much. >> we looked at some of the things money was spent on. in some cases it was spent like the gsa, sort of on motivational activity and so on. so you looked and said, wait a second, they call it team building and the like. one of the problems is, if you do this locally, and you use your own facility and you pay for, you know, brown-bag lunches, you can do this for a few hundred or a couple thousand dollars. >> reporter: remember that if sequestration kicks in, spending on everything in an agency's budget will be cut the same percentage. dod will lose equal percentages for these conferences as more essential programs. martha. martha: 2.3% the $89 million budget on conferences?
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is that the idea? >> reporter: just equal percentages of everything. martha: unbelievable. >> reporter: some congressman not as essential on as these other parts but that is not the way it works. martha: are lawmakers defending all of this? >> reporter: a democratic congressman from new jersey, rush holt, who is also a physicist, he testified yesterday scientists like him need conferences. >> first-hand how important scientific conferences and meetings are. the informal conferences and formal presentations that go into a conference lead to real collaboration. these are not fancy junkets. >> reporter: congressman holt thinks the federal government should spend more money on conferences. martha: maybe they do them in the conference room down the hall in with a the brown-bag bag as darrell issa report. thanks, peter. unbelievable. we didn't get to go to a conference last year. what are we doing wrong?
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bill: we did not. we're stuck in our pod. he is being held in one much iran's most notorious prisons even today. the american pastor is speaking about torture. his wife and the american lawyer trying to get him home free will join us live. martha: what a story that is. plus a hero to the rescue. man's best friend, look, is trapped. get that little guy out. so cute. we'll be right back. more than two years ago, the people of bp made a commitment to the gulf. and every day since,
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we've worked hard to keep it. today, the beaches and gulf are open for everyone to enjoy. we've shared what we've learned, so we can all produce energy more safely. bp's also committed to america. we support nearly two-hundred-fifty thousand jobs and invest more here than anywhere else. we're working to fuel america for generations to come. our commitment has never been stronger.
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bill: pressure is building on the white house to come
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clean about the use of drones overseas. lawmakers want to know exactly you who the administration justifies the targeted killings of americans, suspected of having ties to terrorism. our chief intelligence correspondent catherine herridge is live on that in washington. where's the opposition coming from on this, catherine? >> reporter: well, bill the opposition, the questioning of the obama administration's policy and whether it is consistent with the constitution is bipartisan. listen to these opening statements from a house hearing earlier this week on the expanded use of drones. >> the american people deserve to know and understand the legal basis under which the obama administration believes it can kill u.s. citizens and under what circumstances. >> it is not clear that congress intended to sanction legal force against a loosely defind enemy in an indefinite conflict with no borders or discernable ending. >> reporter: on the senate side democrats ron wyden and
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mark udall pushing the obama administration to release all the legal memos that justify the targeted killing of americans and on the republican side, the threat to block the president's pick to run the cia until the obama white house answers a basic question. >> they should say, absolutely no, we will not kill americans in america without an accusation, a trial, and a jury. and i'm not talking about people engaged in lethal force. i'm talking about people sitting in a cafe having coffee. that is what, people like this are being killed around the world. we should not do this in america. >> reporter: that is just the political piece, bill. bill: what are the questions on the military intelligence side? what are they sayings, catherine? >> reporter: well bill, there is broad agreement that the drones are a fundamental piece of american counterterrorism strategy because it successfully killed senior leaders of al qaeda in pakistan, afghanistan and yemen but expanded use of drones to american citizens
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overseas who are deemed al qaeda leaders and imminent threat to the u.s. when they are not necessarily part of an ongoing plot, one analyst said led to soul-searching among the military. >> they think about the constitution much more seriously than a lot of other people because they take an oath to uphold it. there is lot of debate inside the military, wait a second, should we even be going after americans like this, no matter how bad they are? >> reporter: comes down to the basic concept of due process and whether the commander-in-chief, in this case, president obama, can really function and be consistent under the constitution when he is judge, jury and executioner for an american overseas. bill: i know you will stay on it. thank you. catherine herridge. martha: we have brand new developments now in the case of the jailed american pastor, saeed abedini speaking out about the physical and mental torture is he undergoing in a brutal iranian prison in a letter that has just been released. here is what he saying about
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his own treatment there. a psychological warfare, a year of not seeing my family, physical violence, actions committed to humiliate me, mocked, confronted with extremists in the prison who create another prison within the prison walls and the death threats. it is quite a story that this man has endured. saeed bed bread is one of an estimated 130,000 christians who are persecuted, tortured and who are killed according to most recent numbers every single year around the year. i am joined by nagmeh abedini, his wife and jordan sekulow, from the american center of law and justice. welcome back to the show, both of you. i'm glad to have you with us. you have been so strong throughout this whole process but now you've gotten a window into this letter what your husband is he enduring. how do you stand it?
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>> it is very difficult hearing, reading that letter when i first received it and it is heart-wrenching knowing what he is going through every day. every day in there is survival. martha: jordan, this is basically, he has said, that this will continue. her only waiting for one thing, he says. for me to deny christ. but they will never get this from me. this is an incredibly courageous pastor. >> that's a new development, martha. the torture, psychological, psychological warfare that saeed talks about, physical torture he has written about and knowing about the prison in iran, it is one of the most brutal prisons in the world. add to that this new threat, hey, if you leave your faith, convert back to islam we'll let you go. he says in the letter very clearly, that is the one thing they want from me. it is not a charge about
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anything else. the fact that they're calling him a national security threat when it all boils down if you accept islam again, you're free to go. that is even if you believe the regime which there is no reason to. this is letter that is, not easy to get out. and is not easy for nagmeh to talk about, not easy for anyone to reads, as you show, martha. this is daily life for saeed abedini, an american citizen. martha: sorry, jordan a little more of this. my eyes get blurry. my body does not have the strength to walk. my steps become shaky. he goes on to talk about and he knows they're only waiting for one thing. does any part of you say, give them what they want if that will allow you to be released and come home to our family? >> unfortunately as you mentioned at the beginning, christians are persecuted all over the world. they're one of the largest groups that are being persecuted and killed for their faith. and my husband, i can never,
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when i read that part, that he is put under pressure but he will never deny christ. i was very encouraged. that is his character. he stands up for what he believes. he won't back down. the easy route would be to say okay, i will do as you say and i will get to go home and see my kids and my wife, but, i'm proud of him for not doing that and standing up for what he believes is right. and i pray and i ask everyone to stand up with him for, to stand up with him for his basic human right of really just freedom for being a christian. martha: you know, jordan, you think about discussions about torture that go on in this country. here's an american citizen, a pastor, and i wonder, you know, we've done this a lot, of course, on fox, this story, but where's the outrage, where is the state department? where is president obama. you know yesterday we saw in terms of human rights he stood next to statue of rosa parks and rightfully so.
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>> sure. martha: what about the people like saeed abedini and the president's discussions and focus on him? >> well, you know there are 103 members of the congress, including about a quarter of the u.s. senate have spoken out for saeed abedini. people like lindsey graham, senator graham to speak out on this. the president has not done that himself. john kerry, secretary kerry, senator rubio's office is working closely. i am hoping he turns that relationship around from what we saw the past secretary of state and the state department. we're going international with this. we're giving our government a long time to act. i hope they do. we're going to the u.n. we have teams from the united nations working on this from a number of countries. after you read this, time is running out to get a comment from the president. time is running out to get another statement from the state department. we have to go wherever we can and there are venues open. martha: interesting to see in the conclave how much focus of international
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persecution of christians around the world and global war against christianity written about so extensively. nagmeh the, stay strong you and your children and jordan. thanks for your help. bill: she has been terrific in all this. we're about an hour away from the pope's retirement. live to the vatican for that. how much would you pay for a meeting with the president? accusations of a new political group selling access to the white house. is that the case? we report, you decide, next. ♪ [ female announcer ] from tracking the bus. ♪ to tracking field conditions. ♪ wireless is limitless.
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[ female announcer ] from more efficient payments. ♪ to more efficient pick-ups. ♪ wiress is limitless. martha: good news, everybody, a huckleberry, a golden retriever is fine at home. he fell into an icy pond in connecticut. poor little guy. the firefighter plucked this pooch to safety, bill. the fire chief says the owner did the right thing calling 911, instead of trying to rescue the dog himself. nearly 70% of would be
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rescuers become victims themselves. remember that, everybody. glad to hear, huckleberry is cute name. bill: time for a challenge to that guy. government watch dog groups blasting a lobbying group put together by president obama's former campaign team of 2012, organizing for action. tasked with helping to push president obama's second term agenda. what has government folks in a tizzy is this. that move they argue could give big donors access to the president. jonah goldberg, editor-at-large, "national review", fox news contributor, is look into this. way i understand this, gem messina helped run the national campaign in 2012. he will head up a lobbying group based on what is stating if you give $500,000 to this organization, once a quarter, which could mean, four times a year, you could then gain access to a meeting where the president could appear, correct? >> right. you know the good government
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groups are furious about it for obvious reasons. organizing for action is the obama campaign. it is the presidential campaign, that kept the same initials, part, keep the same bathroom towels i guess. but, you know, people use to talk about the permanent campaign in washington or in the white house and in sort of literary way. now it is literal. you have the campaign manager from the campaign going over to run this. what amounts to sort of private political army for the president. and the way you can get access to the white house is simply to cut a check for half a million dollars, to obama's private political campaign, and then you get to sit in on the national summits they have every quarter or something where the president will attend. bill: there is group called come on cause. liberal advocacy group as they describe. they say this organization must shut down immediately. why are they talking that way? >> some of these good government groups understand that presidents are
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temporary but the principles are eternal which is something that good liberals and good conservatives kind of agree on and even if you trust barack obama, you know, with the drone strikes, everyone says it is okay because it is president obama, you're still setting a precedent. and you know, for conservatives who don't necessarily trust president obama, this is, at least has the appearance of fairly corrupting. it also is wildly hypocritical, given all the talk about transparency in keeping lobbyists out of the white house and all the rest. good government groups, whether liberal or conservative like common cause which is famously liberal understands this sets an awful precedent even for liberal presidents. bill: what messina says if nonprofit groups can set themselves up and block the president's policies, then he is free to counter it with the organization that is setting up. the rub here, remember the clinton, the lincoln bedroom from the 1990s. >> no one wanted to buy
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access to the clinton bedroom. [laughter] bill: correction noted on that, right on. martha, can't control herself laughing so much. martha: oh my. bill: this smacks of the access that people will go to, to try and gain access and influence to the highest office in the country. you believe this is a double-standard. how so? >> well of course it is a double --, first of all. if this was karl rove who kept the bush campaign intact and turned it into a private political organization that answered essentially to the president, and at the same time, remember, messina gets to hire, he is going to still be a political consultant and take private clients, corporate clients, private sector clients, and you can still sell, he can then still pass on access to the white house to them. can you imagine if karl rove had taken the bush campaign, sort of, went pro with it, to make millions of dollars while at the same time selling access to the bush campaign and using that
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campaign to lobby the american people in this sort of community organizer fashion? the editors of "the new york times" would be --. bill: the president said he wanted to keep the insiders out. >> well he wanted to keep insiders he doesn't like out. as tim carney from the washington examiner notes, this white house is infested with lobbyists. they just don't call them lobby its. a lot of people in the mainstream media all that is required for obama to be honest about pledge to keep lobbyists out. bill: thanks very much, jonah. stay out of the clinton bedroom by the way. i don't think you're invited. martha: there you go. let's move along shall we. bill: we need ad chuckle. martha: exactly. how about this one? a store owner in his 80s took on two hammer-wielding robbers. what happened after that? stick around. oh my. bill: also a big day at the vatican the world bids farewell in one hour and ten minutes to pope benedict xvi.
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bill: jewelry heist now in the 81-year-old hero. two thieves confronted by the elderly store owner. surveillance video shows them smashing jewelry cases with a hammer. that is when the owner sprung into action and started shoving them. check it out. >> what was going through your head when you saw them? >> nothing. nothing. nothing. just, stop them. fear didn't even come into it. just happened. >> not going to let them scare you off? >> i don't even think about
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it. bill: he would argue with being called elderly by the way. martha: doesn't look elderly to me. bill: the thieves managed to get away with a couple of watches. that was it. martha: good for him. oscar pistorius murder case throwing south africa's gun violence and high crime into the spotlight. greg palkot is streaming live from johannesburg, south africa. what is the crime threat there and what is the response? >> reporter: martha, we have picked one neighborhood here in johannesburg, to give you an idea what kind of defenses are being put up against criminals. i will ask my cameraman to zoom behind me. you see what is happening at just one house. there is a steel gate across the driveway. electfied fence over that. panic buttons inside the house and armed response ready. as we traveled around the city, we saw high walls everywhere, topped by barbed-wire. closed-circuit cameras. crime is bad. poor lives close to the rich. the murder rate is six times
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that of the united states. we visited with one resident, an expat, typical of well off folks here. they are family was targeted twice by intruders. her house is high-tech fortress. this here is a bit what i asked her. is this a way to live? >> this is the way to live in south africa unfortunately. this is the realty. so we try to do everything we can to fight it. >> reporter: now i also asked her, martha, if this was overkill? she said better more, than nothing. martha: so obviously with all of those big gates and everything, fighting crime in that part of south africa is pretty big business i would imagine, greg? >> reporter: absolutely, martha. very big business. we went out with a s.w.a.t. team of one security company and pierre and i felt like we were right back in afghanistan. armored cars, heavy-duty guns, bulletproof vest to go in one residential area.
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there are 9,000 private security firms. 450,000 more guards than the entire police force and army in this country combined. having said that, some criticize the firms stoking paranoia to dredge up business. police and courts here are getting better. experts tell us the perception of the crime threat is real and one criminologist told us that the oscar pistorius team will use that perception as they argue their client was shooting an intruder. back to you, martha. martha: it is a beautiful country but they do have a high crime rate. greg, thank you very much. bill: he has been playing up the drama over how bad things will get with the spending cuts. but today is the president softening his tone? we'll play this bit for you and you can decide. martha: as the clock ticks down until those automatic reductions will kick in, a new report shows how one plan would actually increase in the end the deficit. one. two. three. my credit card rewards are easy to remember
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martha: good morning, everybody, fox news alert to vatican city where pope benedict xvi is serving the final hours as spiritual leader of billions of catholics worldwide. bidding a final farewell to the cardinals in rome. he said one of you will be the next pope. very moving words from him this morning as he prepares to leave the vatican for the last time as pope. he will spend see caution in the -- seclusion in the paper pal retreat near rome. they're doing a little renovation for him. they're meeting in secret to elent the next pope in the catholic church. speculation is running wild as to who that may be. there is no clear top contender. africa has had some rumblings and even an american pope is considered a possibility here. we should find out next monday when the cardinals hold their conclave or begin that process at least. stay with fox for live coverage of all of that as the pope departs the vatican
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in a helicopter. that comes up in less than an hour from now. in the meantime back here at home, the white house is now changing its tune a bit on how dramatic those defense spending cuts would be if they take effect tomorrow. brand new hour of "america's newsroom" getting rolling right about now. i'm martha maccallum. bill: i'm bill hemmer. a couple of deadlines coming up today, huh? and then you have the pope later this hour. last night the president said the cuts should not send americans into crisis mode. >> now i should point out, and i'm sure you have heard from a number of experts and economists that this is not a cliff but it is a downward. bill: over the last few weeks though mr. obama has been traveling to numerous states, painting a completely different image on the potential impact as is the case here. >> the sequester will weaken america's economic recovery. it will weaken our military readiness. air traffic controllers and
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airport security will see cutbacks. and that could cause delays at airports across the country. tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find child care for their kids. emergency responders like the ones who are here today, their ability to help communities respond to it and recover from disasters will be degraded. federal prosecutors will have to close cases and let criminals go. thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off. martha: wow! bret baier joins us now, the anchor of "special report". bret, sounds like the end of the world is coming except maybe not just yet. i mean how do they want to slice this? >> reporter: martha, this is a, beginning of the walk back of the messaging as we get ready for this eventualty that thing will really kick in barring a last minute deal at the white house. the fact that they're meeting tomorrow. lawmakers at the white house, is an indication of the last-minute nature of this. but to hear the president
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say that this is going to be a tumble over weeks and months in contrast to, as you just pointed out as to what he has been saying on the stump essentially, around, in different speeches is really, interesting. and what we've heard really from cabinet secretaries and from the white house briefing room, you know the reality is, that these furloughs, if they happen, would happen after 60-days notice according to federal law, called the warren act. so you're talking probably april, maybe even late april, when the furloughs which would be one day out of the week, that these employees would, would not be going to work. now some of these communities will feel that but the hope would be that it would either one, get avoided, or two, some solution gets rolled into the continuing resolution deal that is march 27th at
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the end. month. that's the next cliff that we deal with. martha: there has been so much drama surrounding all of this. how much does it hurt the white house's credibility to be caught in somewhat of a hyped campaign really? >> it hurts. i mean it does, it does hurt. and i think they started to realize that midweek. and that's why you had the president deliver that speech last night. you have the president delivering this really urgent message out on the stump, in the hopes that they could really pressure republicans to the table. and they did not budge. they were not budging. and it was not moving the needle. and frankly, i think, you look at, across america, there has been this, this not paying attention, number one. and number two, kind of glazing over to the washington fiscal crisis of the month.
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it seems like. that it happens so often that people say --. martha: you use that word cliff. oh, this isn't a cliff. this is a tumble. and i think they're reaching for adjectives at this point to describe to the american people what is really going on and i think people look at this, and say, you know what? forget it, if you can shell out $50 billion for hurricane sandy relief, billion, billion, we don't talk about millions of dollars in washington, why would it be such a huge deal over the short term in this sequester? you also hear a lot of expressed, the notion that, you know, maybe it is better if they have to go through this process. maybe it forces something they otherwise seem completely incapable of doing. >> then you have the issue, we've been talking about, the transfer authority. just one bill that the president would sign, and congress would go along with and it already has been proposed by two senators in the senate and some in the house are starting to buy on and it may be talked about
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at the white house as a last minute deal, this $85 billion, essentially agencies on both the defense and non-defense would be allowed to prioritze. what are the worst programs and cut those first. martha: yeah. it would force their hand on something that we've heard the scalpel was going to come to the agencies. perhaps this forces their hand that is the proposal we'll talk to. we'll talk to senator inhofe about the proposal a little later in the show. bret, thank you so much. we'll see you tomorrow. >> sure, martha. bill: here is a note. the white house new head of the ftc, federal trade commission. he will replace the previous commissioner jon leibowitz. ramirez has been there since 2010. known as a antitrust expert. miss ramirez was a partner at a los angeles law firm where she handled business litigation. martha: we have new developments in the war in syria. a significant policy shift. the obama administration now says it will provide rebel fighters with $60 million in
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assistance. secretary of state john kerry announcing the new support and decision to back the rebels in an international conference in syria today. a lot of attention coming in on this issue. the money will go to food and medical aid we're told. not directly tomorrow aing this rebel group. the u.s. already provided the syrian people with more than $400 million with aid. until now no u.s. dollars have gone directly to aid the rebel fighters. that seems to be changing now. bill: a house hearing underway on the obama administration's proposed waivers for work requirements for those receiving welfare. now such a waiver has not been granted since the welfare to work requirements became law in 1996 and some lawmakers concerned if such waivers are approved it could result in more government dependence. doug mckelway is looking into that live in washington. doug, good morning. >> reporter: morning to you, bill. the question of why this work requirement changed in the first place is something that the house ways and means committee wants
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answers. senator orrin hatch, one of today's first witnesses, wants it answered too. he told the committee he wrote the white house to ask the very question last year and has not yet received an answer. the work requirement has been part of welfare reform since reform was firsted passed by the republican controlled congress during the clinton administration. the reason for it was to end the cycle of dependency that left generations of families dependent on welfare and encouraged single women to have more kids to receive more ben its if. hatch says this work requirement is vital. >> over the years has consistently demonstrated that a work-first approach continuing an intense effort to engage the client in work-related activities to foster attachment to work with a blended menu of work supports, education and training, has the greatest degree of success in getting clients off of welfare. >> reporter: hatch maintains that the obama administration is will fully ignoring the law.
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he wants congress to pass bipartisan legislation to repeal waivers of the work requirement. the house already acted in september. the senate has has yet to . bill: is there work requirement? >> the work requirement was called the cornerstone of welfare reform by a lot of people. welfare recipients dropped from 12.2 million to 4.5 million in the first decade after reform was passed in 1996. case lloyd's dropped something like 54%. president clinton wrote in "new york times" op-ed, quoting now, at the time i was widely criticized by liberals who thought the work requirements too harsh and conservatives who thought the work incentives too generous. 60% of the mothers who left welfare found work, far surpassing predictions of experts. welfare roles are now increasing again but many attribute that, bill, just to the simple unavailability of jobs. back to you. bill: thanks, doug mckelway on the story out of washington today. martha: here is a really cool story for you. near perfect conditions are
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forecast ahead of a space launch. the privately-built, unmanned dragon space capsule this baby is called. it will blast off for the international space station tomorrow. it is the second of 12 flights that have been contracted by nasa. this is part of that new public/private partnership that nasa is doing. it will resupply the orbiting lab. we'll see how that goes. if goes well. meteorologist janice dean will go on the next flight, right, janice? >> space program. we have to fund it big time. let's look at temperatures across florida. not too bad today but as we get into the weekend thing are going to dip as far as temperatures. could see temperatures 15 to defend degrees below average. for the space launch at ten: ten eastern time. partly cloudy skies, temperatures in the mid 60s and light winds out of the west, northwest. perfect launch weather. let's look what we're dealing with. remember the storm we talked about all week long that brought inches and inches of snow across central u.s. and
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winds of hurricane force? it is across the east. it is bringing light snow across the areas. along the coast it is mainly rain. we'll watch this over the next 12 to 24 hours and then it will be out of here. a very calm weekend, martha and bill, that is good news. however we could have a nor'easter midweek next week. not over yet. martha: janice, i don't know if our viewers caught it but i'm a big fan of the weather walk. very, very, very well-done. did you see janice do the weather walk, bill? sauntering outside our building in a sort of soft, huskey voice doing the with. that is really something. thank you, janice. >> you're welcome. martha: keep it up. >> it will be on youtube at some point. bill: there is a new report that shows budget cuts even if they actually happen, would increase the deficit by billions of dollars. we'll ask president reagan's economic advisor about that in a moment here. martha: less than an hour from now pope benedict xvi
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will leave the vatican for the final time as pope. we'll bring you this historic event as he gets on a helicopter and choppers out of there. bill: never seen it like this before. dramatic testimony in the case of a woman accused of murdering her boyfriend. is her claim of self-defense falling apart on the stand. >> you did see him guns in his hand when you were with him? >> one time i did, yes. >> and was the gun his? >> it was not guns plural. it was one gun and it was his. >> so he had a gun back then? >> yes ♪ if loving you is wrong ♪ i don't wanna be right [ record scratch ] what?! it's not bad for you. it just tastes that way.
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bill: there is new testimony expected in the murder trial of a woman accused of will killing her boyfriend in a jealous rage. jodi arias set to return to the witness stand for 13th day today. initially she told torts she had nothing to do with travis alexander's death in 2008. then she blamed it on masked intruders. then changing her story to
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self-defense. day 13. martha: all right. just 24 hours to go now until that $85 billion in spending cuts begins to kick in. it is a pretty long process as we're learning now. there are a couple of plans out there that would sort of organize a different way to handle those cuts. in the senate there is one, on both sides really. neither one of these substitute plans is expected to pass. according to the congressional budget office, which is a nonpartisan group that adds things up. the democrat plan would actually increase the deficit over the next two years according to numbers that cbo ran. art laffer, joins me now. former economic advisor to president reagan. art, good to have you here. >> good morning, martha. martha: i can only imagine how we're shaking your head at what is we're watching unfold here. >> it is amazing, isn't it? martha: neither plan will pass. it deserves a little attention to talk about what they're proposing because congress is supposed to handle the purse so to speak. what do you think about the democrats idea to substitute this plan with something
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they think will work better? >> i don't think their plan would work better. what it all is, martha, is just political posturing. they have a real opportunity now to do something correct and really good and getting a grasp on entitlements and all that. the president with a snap of his finger could have entitlement reform that would be like clinton's was in the '90s and could lead to great prosperity. what they're doing is throwing all these opportunities away and try to do political game-playing which is really very sad. and the democrats plan of raising tax rates on upper income groups, that is ridiculous. you can't tax a economy into prosperity. martha: tax rates have already gone up as we know on the wealthy. >> yes. martha: the president assured everybody he wasn't interested in raising taxes again on the wealthy. now this report that it is supported by the white house apparently looks like it does raise taxes again on that group. >> it does. it does it mostly eliminating deductions, exemptions and exclusion but it doesn't do what the rest of the plans did like
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simpson-bowles and like domenici-rivlin. they all lowered tax rates as well as getting rid of deductions. that is the key feature. is you can broaden the base and that is all wonderful as long as you lower the rates. bus these people do the one half and not the other which would hurt the economy. i mean it is just as simple as that. they're just not being serious wit. martha: you have both sides saying, well we want something of balance. we want a balanced approach to the democrats. when they say that, they mean more revenues. when republicans say they want a balanced approach they mean they want more spending cuts. you have to read through tea leaves here. i thought it was interesting, according to the reports the white house was, it was opened up to them. look, you can change this plan. you can get your hands dirty in this and muck around with the 85 billion and figure out some really good cuts to do here and apparently they said, hmmm, no thanks. we're not going down that road. why? >> i don't know why. i don't know why. but we all, i want to make it very clear, martha, we
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all want more tax revenues. we all want it. just how you get it. to me the way you get it is increasing economic growth. by creating jobs and that take people off welfare. all of those bring the deficit down dramatically. i'm fully in favor of raising tax revenues but not raising tax rates. and not raising the taxes on people at this level of income. i want to create prosperity and that's what the president seems to oppose in every single statement he makes. and it's sad because, you know, this is the antithesis of what bill clinton was. bill clinton was great on this stuff and this president just isn't, unfortunately. martha: a lot of people think bill clinton was more pragmatic politician. >> i voted for him twice, martha. i voted for him twice. i loved him. i thought he was a great president. he never liked me very much. can i ask you, martha, one. martha: sure. or economistalk. walk? martha: oh absolutely walk? sultry voice. martha: economist walk
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somewhere in washington. you have your people call my people we'll arrange that. >> we'll have a budget behind me with a stick and all that. martha: a debt clock rolling as you go. >> thank you, martha. martha: it will be beautiful, art. excellent idea. thank you, buddy. >> thank you, martha. bill: art laffer voted for bill clinton. martha: twice, twice he says. that is breaking news. >> that is interesting, isn't it? bill: new denials in the white house after long-time washington insider, journalist, bob woodward claims he was threatened by a senior white house official. woodward says this is a troubling sign. there are new developments on this morning. martha: a neighborhood home leveled by a massive explosion. police are investigating what happened here. folks living nearby say they have never heard anything like what they heard last night. >> i heard a loud boom in my house. i could feel it. everyone felt it. we all opened the door because we didn't know what it was, you know. until we saw the smoke and we all ran down the block.
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martha: eye-popping new video and investigation underway into an explosion that completely leveled a new york home. this house on long island, look at this, reduced to rubble. the blast launching debris 75 feet into air. thankfully nobody was inside the home when this happened. it is currently in foreclosure this house. they are not yet identifying a cause but neighbors say that they did smell gas moments before this happened, so. bill: all right, now break out the peanuts. break out the crackerjack and break out the big money. spring training is underway as the 125-year-old tradition has evolved into a billion dollar industry. who knew. steve harrigan live at fort myers florida at
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hammond stadium where the minnesota twins play there. steve, good morning. >> reporter: bill, good morning. twins are warming up for a game with the orioles. spring training used to be wood grand stands in the middle of nowhere but evolved into million door lar theme parks as. it began as a fat farm for baseball players. 125 years later, the drills are the same but the business model has changed. >> six weeks of commerce means that they're going to make a lot of money from spring training. >> reporter: a billion dollar a year industry with fans coming to florida from across the nation. >> great park by the way. >> reporter: paying for something not easy to find today, intimacy, professional sports. >> dad took us when we were young. i'm bringing him now. >> reporter: lee county is home to the boston red sox and the minnesota twins. government studies estimate fans spent $50 million a year in the local economy. >> souvenir program!.
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>> reporter: no surprise there is wider competition for towns hoping to host a major league team. >> there are more communities that want to host spring training than there are major league baseball teams. the teams can is for the moon and there is going to be a community that gives it too them. >> reporter: lee county is just approved a $40 million upgrade for this stadium. that upgrade will include a 50-room dormitory for players and coaches. bill? bill: wow, big money. thank you, steve harrigan. play ball down there in florida. martha. martha: was it a threat or wasn't it? this is one of the questions of the morning. veteran journalist bob woodward says he was threatened by an unnamed white house official in the an e-mail. the administration says that is not at all what it was. is he telling the truth? bill: i would like to know. remembering norman schwarzkopf. west point military academy holding a memorial service today for one of its most famous alums.
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martha: fox news alert. just moments from now pope benedict the xvi will depart the vatican for the final time as pope. he will board a helicopter and take the short ride to castle ganolfo, the retreat outside of rome. amy kellogg is there watching all of this for us. >> reporter: martha we've said so much about this pope in the
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last few weeks and speculated a lot about the future. but one word has not been said, and that is [speaking italian ] the italian word which means, we will meet again. no one knows whether or not we will see the pope again once he goes into his hidden retirement. these are very poignant moments particularly for the faithful. and it has to be said this a lot of italians will say that this has not been the most popular pope. he followed in the footsteps of john paul the ii who was such a global superstar. upon his departure a lot of people are feeling that they didn't really know what they would be missing. they've come to appreciate his cerebral intellect, his kindness, his gentle necessary and we spoke to gregg burke a short while ago, here is what he had to say about today. >> it's sad to see the pope leave saint peters, but on the other hand it's beautiful to see
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the pope happy and at peace. you can tell he is somebody who has been struggling physically. to think okay i'm not baggy to have all this weight on my shoulders is beautiful. >> gregg of course, one of our colleagues now working at the senior communications adviser for the vatican, very much in tune of what is going on and talked a lot about the serenity the pope is feeling now. there will be a short ceremony with the swiss guards. you may have seen footage of them colorfully dressed. that is the papal protection squad and the pope will board the helicopter to castle gandolfo where he will become pope emeritus at 8:01 this evening. martha: a beautiful scene from vatican city. amy thank you very much. bill: the white house now denying allegations that an administration official, gene sperling threatened the washington journalist bob
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woodward. this all happened when woodward challenged how the sequester came about. he says he got a threatening email saying quote, i apologize for raising my voice in our conversation about. you're focusing on a few trees that don't give a full sraouf view of the forest. doug schoen is here and also monica crowley. good morning to both of you. monica you have a special relationship with bob woodward, proceed tpegt professionally. >> i worked with president nixon during the last four years, and we often talked about the watergate scandal. what is fascinating to me about
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this whole dynamic is the historical ironies are abounding here. we had bob booed ward "washington post" legendary now caught in the mix of this back and forth with a very liberal white house. >> doug? >> you know,. bill: you think it's disturbing. >> it is disturbing. i no gene sperling. i'd i'd like to think of gene as a friend of mine. gene has a tone that he knows best, he knows what is right. unless and only if you only listen to him will you get it right. it bespeaks a tone in the white house which i think is unfortunate. an unwillingness to bargain and consider alternatives and a sense that we're right and if you disagree with us, woe unto you p. bill: the story caught fire on its own because wood waord kep woodward kept talking e. was on
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msnbc here he is with wolf blitzer. >> they said, look we don't see eye to eye on this. they never really said, afterward they said this was factually wrong and it was said to me in an email -- it was said very clearly, you will regret doing this. bill: does the white house expect bob woodward to take on the president? >> well,. bill: is that the bottom line? >> i don't know. what is interesting is that if this is in fact a white house attack on bob woodward it's not because they think he's lying, it's because they believe he's telling the truth about the president and his position to the sequester. this is not the first time that this white house has even gauged in these kinds of intimidation tactics. remember right after he won he leaned across the table to the republicans and he said, i won. he singled out a democratic
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congressman who voted against the stimulus and said, don't think we're not keeping score, brother. cbs news was asking serious questions about fast and furious a white house safer, white person in the white house called her and screamed and swore at her. this is a pattern of behavior on the part of this white house. that's why this woodward story has extra legs because it lends to this pattern. >> i have to agree with monica. we may differ and we do on substance much much the time, but the tone of the white house is we're right, you're wrong and you heard the president after the election, monica, same theme he said, i won this election, i'm entitled to get what i want. he only got 52%. we have a fiscal crisis, and bottom line, unless we come together to deal with the sequester we all lose. bill: one more quick thing here. this is a sweet, watching woodward the last few days is like imagining my idol mike schmidt pitching again.
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perfection game one is rarely repeated. >> other journal *eufpss are piling on bob woodward because he dares to speak about the president and the sequester. the big question is not woodward versus the white house it's that this president has a serious sequester credibility problem in his tale about how it came about. >> a credibility problem. >> a credibility problem in general. >> yes, absolutely. bill: thank both of you. we are going to run because we are watching the vatican, okay. much more to say on this. as far as the big meeting at the white house here we go. >> after the fact, bill. >> the sequester. bill: thanks to both of you. martha: today a military legend is being remembered at west point military academy where they are honoring general norman schwarzkopf with a memorial service. the general passed away in december. rick leventhal is on this story for us.
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he joins us live there new york. the general was often called stormin norman. c nickname that heng him today. earned from his troops because of his fiery temper. the general was known as a very tough military man and a very frank talker. in fact "time magazine" described him as a man with a john wayne swagger at a growl like a grizzly. general schwarzkopf served two tours of duty in vietnam, he received three silver stars, he led troops during the invasion of grenada and was best known for commanding the forces during the first gulf war operation desert he storm. he went into iraq and ended the ground war in four days and had choice words for the former iraqi leader. >> as far as saddam hussein being a great military strategist, he is neither a strategist, nor is he schooled in the operational arts, nor is he a a tactician, nor is he as a
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general, or a soldier. other than that he's a great military man i want you to know that. [laughter] >> general schwarzkopf retired shortly after the war in 1991. his autobiography was called it doesn't take a hero. he says it doesn't take a hero to order men into battle it takes a hero to be one of those men going into battle. martha: what a life and all of those memorable press conferences during the gulf war. his ashes will be buried at best point, that is a very significant place obviously in this is life. >> reporter: yeah it's quite an honor. his father, h. norman senior is buried here. you must be a west point graduate or family member to be buried here. general schwarzkopf was the last after 56. a memorial service will be held at 12:30 this afternoon. and at 2:30 he will be buried. martha: thank you very much.
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bill: we have 24 hours to go. president obama will meet with leaders of the house and senate about the impending sequester. next we will we'll talk to senator james inhofe about a new proposal to take away some of the most painful cuts. martha: just moments away from the pope's final departure from the vatican. it will be an amazing scene when this takes place. it's moments away. it looks like a painting in vatican city. we'll be right back with father jonathan morris after that.
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>> down to the wire as you know on this whole sequester situation. the president has now invited the congressional leaders to the white house so they can chat about what they should do about these automatic spending cuts that are going to kick in in about 24 hours, at least the very beginning of that process. the top leaders from both sides of the aisle will get together at the white house, that is going to happen tomorrow on friday. those you see pictured here will
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be in attendance. in the meantime senator james inch half has an idea about how to fix this situation, he's the ranking member on the armed services committee and joins me now. senator, welcome. good to have you here this morning? nice to be with you, martha, let me correct something that's been said, this is not a new idea, we actually put this together, oh, it's been five weeks ago. my feeling was this. this president is already virtually devastated the military, and if sequestration comes in on top of that, that would be a trillion dollars taken out in that ten-year period. what i did five weeks ago, i said look if it's inevitable that we're going to have sequestration, have those cuts in the military let's see if we instead can cut the same amount but allow the service chiefs, army, navy, air force, marines and guard make a determination in those cuts as to what would be less painful and still have the cuts. they are all enthusiastic about it and that's all this does. it's something that -- martha: that seems like a pretty
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simple idea. the president and leon panetta before he left the department of defense talked about how devastating these cuts are. we know this is not a hammer that has to come down in the way it's been designated. the white house has leeway to make adjustments and recommendations into how these cuts are made. you say that all of these different military branches are on board with finding their own -- they are going to get their own red marker out and slash some things to make up for this money, is that right? >> martha i asked them two questions five weeks ago, i said first of all if you could be selective and have the same top line would it be less devastating to your branch of military. they all said enthusiastically, yes. and i said can you do it in four or five weeks. they said yes. they've been working on this for four or five weeks and this should not be partisan. this is the thing that bothers me. we will be voting on this today, and this should not be a partisan attempt. this is not a fix, it's going to increase the amount of money or extend the period of time, it
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merely says if you're going to cut, cut where it does the least damage. that's what we're going to try to do, and by the way, let me just answer these people, martha, who say that, well this is an imperial presidency, nothing could be further from the truth. because we have a congressional rejection of this built into this law and we also say that the president has to do it or the services have to do it consistent with the bill that was passed by congress. it was the national defense authorization act. so i don't know why they are even saying that because there is no truth in that at all. martha: you know the word is that this plea postal can't pass in the senate, that the democratic proposal also it looks like it can't pass, your thoughts on that, and do you have any response from harry reid or from the white house to this idea that each branch can get out the red pen and do this on their own? >> well, first of all, that can't happen. this does essentially that in terms of getting their input and making it happen. but if he feels strongly about
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that, with the arguments he's using i would say harry reid, accept this plan. i'm sorry that this is going to be considered on the floor in just a few minutes or in a couple of hours as a republican alternative. this shouldn't be a republican alternative, this is a logical way to meet a crisis and minimize the damage to our military. martha: i'm -- forgive me if you stated this. what is harry reid -- he has responded to this specific idea? what won't he like about it? >> i went to harry reid first, i went to him over a month ago and in fact he referred me to dick durbin an said he thinks it's a good idea. but i think we are getting a little bit -- it's getting partisan in there and it shouldn't. i've talked to a number of democrats who like our approach. and by the way, while we started the bill pat toomey from pennsylvania came in and it's the inch hoof too many me bill but it should be the eupl hoff, toomey and several democrats
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bill. i'm hoping they'll look at this as something that is not just a republican bill. there is no downside to doing this. martha: what do you expect the tenor -- what is this meeting going to be like at the white house tomorrow when mcconnell, pelosi and bones are all in therboehner are all in there with the president. what is going to happen. >> i've been spared those phaoeupbgts, i haven't attended them. they are going to get in there and each side is going to say how can we do this in a way that is not our fault. now look what the president has been doing. he's been trying to tell everyone the sequestration has been the fault of congress. he didn't necessarily say the republicans, of congress. i think that has upset some of the democrats in congress. it's going to be an effort by the president to come out with something that will make him look good and somehow maybe -- he might have an idea i don't know about now but it's going to be partisan we know that.
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martha: we'll see. senator, thank you very much for being with us today. have a good day. we'll see you season. >> thank you, martha, same to you. bill: we are watching some stunning images live in vatican city right now where pope benedict is about to leave for the last time as pope, and only moments from now we'll see him driven a short distance to the vatican helipad and fly to the papal retreat 15 minutes south of rome. fox news contributor father jonathan morris is on standby for us and joins us live from vatican city. we are about to see history here. a bit earlier today we saw a long line of cardinals, among them one will be the next pope, pie the way, saying their final salutes and good by to pope benedict while he is the pontiff. the pope was not expected to talk today but he did. and some of the things he said i think are quite intriguing.
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what did he say, father? >> well, one of the most intriguing things, bill, and hello to martha there as well, was that he made a promise, and this is not something that was kind of part of the protocol, or expected, he made a promise that he would offer his own refe reverence and obedience to the next pope. the fact is that the next pope was most likely in that room, and so as the other cardinals who are listening to this. his last address to the world, through the cardinals, i'm sure they were thinking, gosh, i wonder who it's going to be. it also goes back to the point of, you know, just because this man was pope doesn't mean that he does haven't to respond to someone, he has to respond to god first and foremost, he has to respond to natural law, to his own conscience, but now he's saying i'm also going to respond in reverence and obedience to
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the man who will take over after me. stunning, historic, shocking, kind of sad, this is someone like in my case at least it's like your father who you would like to see continue but he recognizes that he's not the right person for the job at this point of his life. bill: also in that address he said he would be -- i'm quoting his own words now, that he would be hidden from the world. how do you interpret that? how do you read that? >> well, there is a lot -- there's been a lot of talk of how is this going to work, if there is a former pope, and a pope, what if the former pope disagrees with the pope? what he's saying is don't worry there will not be an anti-pope. he said god is calling me up to the mountain to prayer just like jesus did before he went to jerusalem to suffer and to die. he said up to the mountain to pray as if it's a monastery. he's going off to be hidden as you said, bill. he's going off to pray. he's going off to serve the church in a very different way
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than the very public way he's been serving the church up until now. bill: you also talk about the emotional reality that will settle in. and it's hard for any one of us to really know how he has prepared himself for this moment, but once he's -- once he's 15 minutes south of rome, i mean that is going to hit him. i'm just curious, what have you heard from among those who watch the vatican and pay attention to this man's life or how he has prepared himself for what is next? >> you know, it is a total change of lifestyle to say the least. imagine going from looking out and seeing 150,000 people yesterday on a wednesday morning, coming to say goodbye to you, then going off and living in solitude. but, you know, those of us who know him and i got to know him bev even became pope p i used to bring college students to see him, we know that he is much more at ease in solitude knowing he's doing god's will than being
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in public. john paul the ii was the man of the camera, the man of the public. pope benedict and his own personality, while accepting the responsibility is more at ease in quiet and peace. he'll continue to write. he told the cardinals today this was fascinating, keep writing to me, i will have communication with you. but notice it's by mail. he's not going to be making public statements. a real life changer and for me personally it's a call never to want power for your own sake or authority but rather to serve. that's what we got into this for in the first place. bill: you mentioned the comparison to his predecessor and you always got the impression that pope john paul ii loved the job, and loved to let people know that he loved the job. you really go never really got that from pope benedict the xvi. we just want to drop in here and see if we can pick up anything
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inside the apostolic palace at the vat kin. vavat tavatican. >> sure.
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[applause] [applause]
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[applause] [applause]
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bill: even the headline itself is still stunning. we are watching a pope retire. martha: a very sweet moment there, the driver of this car knelt down and kissed the ring and had kearse in his eyes of the pope before he himself went around to get into this car and drive it away. what a moment for this. you know, civilian in this situation to be this close to the pope, to be driving him o

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Americas Newsroom
FOX News February 28, 2013 6:00am-8:00am PST

News/Business. Bill Hemmer, Martha MacCallum. News coverage and discussion. New.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Vatican 14, Washington 14, Bob Woodward 11, Rome 8, Benedict 7, Obama Administration 6, Tucker 5, Harry Reid 5, Janice 5, Saeed Abedini 4, Amy Kellogg 3, South Africa 3, Florida 3, Post Shredded Wheat 3, Vatican City 3, Messina 3, John Paul 3, Bill Clinton 3, Adam Schiff 3, Los Angeles 2
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